Qualification -Advanced Certificate Applied Management (Arboriculture)

Course CodeVBS001
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

Arboriculture Distance Education Course

  • Start or improve an Arboriculture Business
  • Become a team leader or manager of trees
Why This Course
Most arboriculture courses will teach you how to manage trees; but not how to manage the business side of a tree service.
Most people who become knowledgeable about tree work, will sooner or later, either operate their own business, or be promoted to become a supervisor or manager in the organisation where they work. At that point it is easy to encounter serious difficulties, because they do not know how to properly organise the work, manage staff and equipment or sell your services to clients. This course prepares you for that stage of your career; whether you are at that point yet, or not.

What is Arboriculture?
Arboriculture deals with tree management. Arborists select, plant, maintain and manage trees in private and public landscapes. Their work includes tree pruning, transplanting and removal. They use specialised tree surgery techniques, such as bracing, crown thinning and crown renewal, to ensure public safety and to preserve important trees in the landscape. They are able to evaluate and assess tree health and monetary value, and are often involved in landscape preservation and rehabilitation schemes.

Due to the inherently risky nature of working with large trees, arborists need to be well trained; and will normally work in teams, comprising climbers and ground staff. Many arborists work as private contractors, while others are employed by government authorities.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification -Advanced Certificate Applied Management (Arboriculture).
 Business Operations VBS006
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Industry Project II BIP001
 Arboriculture I BHT106
 Management VBS105
 Marketing Foundations VBS109
 Office Practices VBS102
 Arboriculture II BHT208
 Trees For Rehabilitation (Reafforestation) BHT205

Note that each module in the Qualification -Advanced Certificate Applied Management (Arboriculture) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Trees are all too often the forgotten giants of our garden areas.  A shrub or ground cover plant is far closer to the human eye than a tree, and all too often these plants get the majority of our attention because they are so easily seen.  With trees it often seems to be "out of sight, out of mind".

Trees in actual fact, are potentially far greater problems than shrubs.  If a shrub blows over, it creates a bit of a mess and a gap in the garden bed.  If a tree blows over though, it can destroy half the garden, make a large hole in the roof of a house, or crush your new car.  Trees like people can be hurt, they can get sick, and sooner or later they will die.  They need to be fed and watered, and they do need "doctoring" if their life is to be extended to the fullest.  Some trees, like some people, are hardier and never seem to become ill.  In the same way, however, many trees have "medical" problems which no one seems to notice until it is too late!

The only real way to avoid a catastrophe with a tree is to closely monitor the plant.  It should probably be checked (on average) once every six to twelve months.  If any problems are found, they should be treated right away.  Tree care has in parts of Europe and America, become advanced enough to recognize the importance of regular attention being given to trees.  As yet, Australia has not (in the main) recognized this fact.  Most trees in Australia are literally time bombs.  They are not monitored and no one knows their condition.  They may last for a hundred years; they may die or blow over within six months.  In studying this subject, you have a responsibility to monitor the trees you are seeing and let people know of their condition.

Things Everyone Should Know about Trees
One of the biggest problems with a tree is being planted originally in the wrong position.  Some examples of this are as follows:

  • People are misinformed of the spread and height of a tree when they plant it.  They plant 60ft trees under power lines and the SEC 'hacks' them away from the wires.  They plant very tall trees up against the wall of a house and branches rub on the roof dislodging tiles etc.
  • Trees which cause damage to drainage or sewer pipes are planted too close to the pipes.  The pipes then become blocked and either the tree has to be removed or regular expense is incurred as the pipes are cleaned out.
  • Trees which have damaging root systems are planted too close to paving or building foundations.  Walls can be lifted and cracked, paths or driveways destroyed etc.
  • Often a tree which is expected to grow to 6 m is planted in the front of a window for shade.  When it reaches 20 m, the room it is shading has become so dark that a light must be turned on, even on bright sunny days.
BUY BOOKS ON TREES & SHRUBS WRITTEN BY OUR TUTORS See our Bookstore at www.acsebook.com
Pruning is a fundamental skill for anyone who works in the management of trees.
Different types of trees and shrubs are pruned in different ways according to the problem or aim and also according to the growth type we want to encourage or discourage. 
Pruning methods and styles also vary from place to place, according to climatic variations and even traditions in different countries. Pruning methods are often handed down from generation to generation over centuries. 
  • The desirable and aesthetically pleasing appearance of a plant is sometimes different from one place to another. The way a conifer is shaped in Japan, for instance, may be different to how it is shaped in parts of Europe.
  • The same plant may grow into a different shape, to a different height, or be impacted by different weather conditions in different parts of the world; and those variations can make it necessary to prune it differently in different places (eg. Roses in the sub tropics tend to be pruned several times a year. Each subsequent flush of growth can bring new flowers, whatever the time of year is. In very places like Poland, it is normal to prune a rose extremely hard once a year, before the snow comes; then cover with straw to insulate the plant from the extreme cold. The plant then regrows in spring after the snow.
Timing for pruning
This varies with country and climatic location. 
For example in warmer tropical areas lemons can be pruned at almost any time of the years, while lemons growing in frosty regions need to be left until the danger of frosts is passed before they are heavily pruned. If it is very dry or drought conditions then generally you only prune lightly as there is not enough moisture about to support a flush of new soft growth.   In this way pruning for the same type of plant can vary with the season and also temperature/ rainfall / frost intensity in different regions. 
Pruning trees in general
There are some basic steps to pruning which are good to know before you start.  First you want to remove any dead growth or old unproductive growth and wood. 
Next, take out and crossing wood that is rubbing against other healthy wood and causing injury and possible entry points for pests and diseases to take hold. 
Then remove any sections of plants that may have an internal pest problem such as citrus stem miner and currant borer or termites. 
Consider the overall shape of the tree and its natural habit, where new growth comes from when you do prune, so it looks as natural as possible.  Some plants will shoot from the base, some will shoot only from older wood, some only shoot from younger wood. 
Always prune to an upward and outward facing bud, unless you are pruning a weeping tree. Choose a healthy bud in the position you want your growth to go and prune with a sloping cut away from the bud and close enough to not  damage the bud or the back of it (e.g. on roses) and not so far it leaves a long stub, which will die off. 
Make sure always you have shard clean pruning equipment and the right tools for the job. If it is a big tree, make sure you get a tree surgeon or professional pruned in to do the job for you, as that will eliminate branches falling in the wrong direction or you being injured. 
Pruning Fruit Trees
There is much less certainty today about the best method to prune a fruit tree than what there was twenty years ago. In the past, fruit trees have traditionally been pruned in the shape of an inverted cone (called a vase shape). Experimentation has shown that several other techniques can be just as productive as the vase system.
With better watering, fertilizing and weed control, trees are today able to carry a lot more fruit than they could a few decades ago. Consequently, the detailed, heavy pruning of the past is not always practiced these days. 
In the home orchard, pruning can largely be adapted to shape the tree so that it fits into the general function and design of your overall garden. If you want to prune so that you can walk under or past one side of your fruit tree, this is acceptable.
Before Pruning
Prior to pruning, look closely at the tree and try to understand how it grows. What parts of the tree produce flowers & fruit? What shape do you want to achieve, do you want small fruit or larger but less fruit?
Deciduous fruit trees are usually pruned in winter because the tree is bare of leaves and it is easier at that time to see what you are cutting. Evergreens are often left until the summer or early autumn depending on the variety of tree  when it fruits and the climate you live in. You would not want to prune an evergreen tree in the middle of frosty winters. 
Note the size of the buds. Larger, plump buds are flower/fruit buds. Narrower buds are vegetative (ie: Vegetative buds give rise to leaves or green shoots). The frequency of flower buds will give an indication of the amount of fruit the tree is likely to bear (Note: On some types of trees, one bud can produce several fruit; on others one bud only produces one fruit). You will notice that fruit buds are borne on particular parts of a tree (eg: Peaches bear fruit on 1 year old laterals; apples bear fruit on the tips of on year old laterals as well as in small clusters of compact growths called "spur systems"). The basis of your pruning should be to cut in a way which will encourage the development of the type of growth which will produce fruit for future years, but at the same time will leave sufficient fruit buds to allow a reasonable crop for the coming season.
Points to Consider when Pruning
 The vigour of the tree or shoot depends on the direction of growth and the amount of leaf surface (among other things). The more a shoot approaches the vertical position, the stronger it's growth will be.
 The top or terminal bud of a shoot generally has the greatest amount of growth. The growth potential of the buds will gradually decrease as you come closer to the base of a shoot and also to the base of the trunk.
The greater the vegetative growth, the lighter the crop, resulting in larger but poorer quality fruit.
The fewer the number of buds on a shoot, the stronger will be the growth made by each individual shoot arising from these buds.
All fruit should be removed from young trees for the first few years after planting, to allow the leaf & stem growth to better develop.
Always make sure all equipment is in good repair, suited to the job as well as sharp and clean.